Scene4 Magazine — International Magazine of Arts and Media
Scene4 Magazine-inSight

june 2008

with Lia Beachy

Spring for the Ladies
Sex In The City

The ladies are back. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis, or rather their characters, Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte are once again strutting their stuff in New York City, only this time it’s on the big screen. Sex and the City is in movie theaters nationwide and I am thrilled.

It is Star Wars for chicks. But there is no need for some mystical “Force” to enhance our natural abilities and guide us through our days and towards our destinies. There is just vodka. In martini form, preferably as a Cosmo (personally I prefer the Gimlet), but always chilled. Champagne works well too. And light-sabers, those phallic energy swords that cut through anything like a Ginsu knife slicing through a tin can, may be a way to fight battles in some alternate science fiction universe, but here on planet earth, the woman’s weapon of choice is simply a 4-inch stiletto named Manolo or Jimmy (for those who can afford them, and a cheaper knock-off for the rest of us).

It all sounds so silly, but it’s entertainment for women that is sexy, fun, smart, sensitive and doesn’t need testosterone to be the protagonist. Men are necessary, and there are plenty of them in the Sex and the City world, but they don’t rule the roost.

There were talks and attempts to get the Sex and the City movie made quickly after the HBO series ended its 6th Season in 2004, but it didn’t happen until now and I find the timing of this film extremely relevant to the 2008 presidential elections.

The first viable female candidate in the history of the United States of America is running against the men and there are many reasons I like Hillary Clinton. I was a fan of the Clinton White House and voted for her husband, Bill. (Who doesn’t look back at the Clinton years and wish we could go back to a time when the President was literate and well-spoken and before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, before the mortgage crisis and high gas prices, high food prices, and an all-around sense that the U.S. is in the crapper because of blatant corporate greed?) I have always appreciated Hillary’s strong determination to create a health care system in the United States that would cover everyone. I admire her advocacy of Gay and Lesbian rights. I like her daughter Chelsea, who in support of her mother on the campaign trail, has shown she is a strong and intelligent woman herself. I respect Hillary’s ability to withstand the constant criticism thrown at her and the pressure to quit the race early on. And most importantly, I dig the fact that she’s a woman.

Yes, it absolutely makes a difference to me that my candidate of choice is a woman, breasts, hips, hair and lips, and it is the primary reason I support her. I want a woman calling the shots for a change. I want a woman’s face and demeanor to represent us in the world. No more men with cowboy hats and pickup trucks or cigars and power ties. And though Hillary isn’t exactly a Vogue fashionista rockin’ Christian Louboutin sandals and skimmer skirts by Prada (she poked fun at her own fashion faux pas in the February 18, 2008 edition of US Weekly), she opens the door for the rest of us who do.

But the saddest part is seeing that from the get go, Hillary hasn’t been given an even playing field. Barack Obama may have some cards stacked against him as well, but people are careful, at least on the surface, about attacking him because of the color of his skin. Hillary on the other hand is not given that kind of latitude regarding her sex. She never expected anyone to give her an easy path, but the level of misogyny, the blatant lack of respect and anger because she is not a man but is perceived as trying to be like one, is fascinating and frightening. And I’m not talking about criticism coming from only the mainstream media or political pundits. I hear the resentment in male voices when I am at restaurants and bars, parties, and sometimes even in the places where I work.

I read and hear similar jeers and scoffing directed towards Sex and the City. Here are four female characters that exemplify female sexuality, softness, and feelings and it is often dismissed for lacking real depth and being too whiny (and sexual).

Women are still caught in a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t scenario. If we embrace our sexuality, we aren’t taken seriously. If we hide our femininity to get along with the guys, we are branded as calculating and robotic. And forget displaying any kind of emotion, because women who cry or express anger are considered mentally unstable bitches (or in Hillary’s case, tears were labeled as manipulation).

My theory for why we are put into these categories is quite simple... men are afraid. Women are taking back their power and some men can feel it and resent it. Because if women can earn the same pay, and gain the same power to call the shots and still be willing to show their emotions, nurture other people, and throw on a tight skirt and pretty shoes (or not), how do the men compete with it? And how do they bogart the spotlight if women are in charge and no longer blindly follow and obey?

In defense of my male counterparts, I believe men in Western societies are in the unique position of helping change how women are viewed throughout the world. And my education as a woman, learning about love, compassion, loyalty, bravery, and friendship, could never have happened without the balance of men in my life.

I’m just plain tired of the ladies getting picked on because they don’t belong to the club that walks with sticks. The country isn’t going to change overnight no matter who gets elected in November. The world of opportunity isn’t going to open up for every girl merely because more TV shows or movies cater to and represent a female point of view. But wouldn’t it be nice if it did? And isn’t it time to see what might happen if the power and limelight were shared with the fairer sex? Come on, boys, you might actually like it.


©2008 Lia Beachy
©2008 Publication Scene4 Magazine

Scene4 Magazine — Lia Beachy
Lia Beachy is a writer and a Senior Writer and Columnist for Scene4.
For more of her commentary and articles, check the Archives


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